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This is Also a Dolphin


I do not pay someone

to listen to my problems

because I’m in a progressive

state where therapists are everywhere

and free to the needy.

I’m in the library across

from an office of therapy.

I am watching the hand

in the office window. Clearly,

the hand is the client.

Shit, as soon as I

mentioned it, he retracted it.

Maybe not, yeah, it’s back.


There’s a ring on him.

He pretends to be whisking

an egg. Now bouncing atop

the blond armrest. He opens,

lifts as if listening to

music; or he is palsied.

Period. It’s away now. Period.

No! It’s back doing capisce;

understand in Italian. Lily bud.

It is a pale hand. He’s

pointing now. Fist hitting his

armrest. He’s opened fingers, it’s

away from the window. No,


it’s back. It’s up near

his chest then hits armrest.

Maybe this is a woman?

Now it’s whisking in tighter

circles, presumably, a smaller egg.

Less work, less concern. Why

did I assume masculine previously?

It was a thick ring.

But women do that too:

wear thick rings. It’s 50/50.

The hand was not hairy.

Our hands are bigger now.

It’s gone. Now it’s back


up: bouncing. Nervous but insistent

Who knows what this hand

does away from the window?

In the sticky ear, poking

its owners nose. Pointing. It’s

pointing. Rude or raw confidence.

Now it’s two hands pointing.

Hello! It’s like a chevron.

Bouncing, now the sign for

money: fingers wearing each other

out. It’s away from its

window. I’ll give it five

minutes. I don’t have forever.


It’s back at a new

angle. I see the polar

fleece sleeve of the owner.

which blends with the reflection.

Yes, it’s back; arched like

a sea creature. Now out

of the window, now bobbing

over the armrest energetically.

He or she is dealing

with agitation. He or she

is not touching down now.

The hand unfurls; less weapon,

more emphasis. It diffusely points.


It points over there, beyond

the still life on the wall.

Now the “eh” sign, comme

si, comme ça. Slowing down.

Maybe he or she got

sedation. A headless body towards

me. Hello, Therapist! Nice shirt.

He lumbers with a pad.

The hand leaves the room.

Out for more problems, probably.

No, I reframe that story.

Now, she is reaching out.

Now, they come towards her.

from Consolation and MirthFind more by Ish Klein at the library

Copyright © 2015 Ish Klein
Used with the permission of Canarium Books.

Published in Ish Klein Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.